Another day, another reason for fans to be up in arms about something. On Wednesday, Michigan State football announced that it would be playing its season finale against Penn State in primetime at Ford Field.
This comes shortly after it was announced that the game would be moved up a day to Black Friday and now it’s going to be in Detroit.
Obviously, this move didn’t make season ticket holders too happy as Penn State was one of the premier games on the schedule and it’s on senior day, but metro Detroit is home to about 100,000 alumni and it’s a chance for those who would normally not make the trip up to East Lansing to attend a Michigan State game.
There were plenty of mixed reactions on social media after this news broke, but I also have some thoughts.
Thoughts on the Penn State vs. Michigan State football game
Obviously I’m all for home-field advantage in a rivalry game that could potentially be the last obstacle in the way of a bowl berth — hopefully the Spartans are bowl eligible by this game. However, the final game of the regular season at home is one of the least-attended games on the entire schedule. Students are home for Thanksgiving break and fans don’t often like to brave the cold. It makes sense to maximize attendance.
The game being in Detroit does that.
How much home-field advantage is there really when the stadium is maybe two-thirds full? The entire upper deck being empty does not exactly intimidate opponents. So why not move the game to a controlled environment in front of potentially thousands of alumni and fans from the Detroit area who wouldn’t get to attend a game normally?
I get the fact that it’s not the same atmosphere. Spartan Stadium and Ford Field won’t yield that same college football magic feel and it’s held some classics in this rivalry (2017 and 2021 come to mind). But if Michigan State actually has a pulse this year, Ford Field will be rocking.
The only downfall of this game, in my eyes, is the fact that it moved the MHSAA high school football finals back a day and that’s going to make a lot of people unhappy.
Otherwise, I love the fact that this game is in primetime at Ford Field.